The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

Valedictorian speech


Valedictorian is not just a label to some people. People devote their education to being at the top of their class, and senior Emma Baker is one of those select few.

It is important to get a description of her life.

“I’m going to be the 2024 valedictorian. I have always loved school and learning, and I’m excited to start the next chapter of learning at Miami University this fall. I have played golf for seven years, and I am involved in a myriad of extracurriculars. My favorite hobbies are baking and knitting, and I love, love, love music. I love vinyls and have a large collection of them. Taylor Swift is my absolute favorite artist, and I have loved her practically since I was born. I have worked at Nothing Bundt Cakes for four years, and Kukui’s Hawaiian Shave Ice for two years outside of school. I’m either working, napping, hanging out with my boyfriend, or tutoring,” Baker said.

Once realizing there was a class ranking, she decided that it was only right to reach for the sky.

“It has been kind of a mix. When I was little, I had no idea what a valedictorian was, so I never really thought about it. Growing up, I had a couple adults tell me that I was probably going to be first in my class. I kind of clung to those comments, and it became a goal of mine around 7th grade. I have always had good grades and have held high standards for myself in terms of my education, so I just maintained that mentality through high school. In 9th grade when I found out I was tied for first, it got real. I worked really hard to maintain my rank over the past four years, and I’m proud of my accomplishments and my effort,” Baker said.

The valedictorian speech should be motivating and offer thanks to people that have helped along the road.

“I honestly have no idea what it’s going to look like. I’m definitely going to thank influential people in my life and likely make a few references to Taylor Swift, which should not be a surprise. I also want to commemorate the hardships we have been through as a class, as well as the accomplishments we have made,” Baker said.

Cracking jokes during speeches is always nerve-racking, especially when not knowing how the crowd will react.

“I’m definitely a little nervous. I am going to try to make some jokes so that the speech remains interesting, and I’m nervous that they may not quite land. I’m not going to say anything that is controversial, but it’s always scary trying to be funny in front of hundreds of people. I’m pretty confident in my public speaking abilities, so I’m not super nervous to actually read it. I just hope that I can express everything I want clearly and fully,” Baker said.

Being a valedictorian is not easy with a packed schedule.

“I have pushed myself to have a very busy schedule, not just in school but also outside of it. I’m also a very competitive person, so I have really pushed myself to make sure that I’m maintaining good grades and keeping my rank. I wouldn’t take any of it back, but there have definitely been some moments that I’ve been very stressed out,” she said.

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